Welcome to this week’s edition of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee newsletter! The SST Newsletter highlights the goings on of the Committee, the hard work of our Members, and a look ahead. Sign up to get it delivered straight to your inbox!
Strengthening the U.S. Microelectronics Workforce
On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing to understand the critical workforce needs of the U.S. microelectronic manufacturing sectors as part of the ongoing investments in increasing domestic production. Science Committee Members examined current semiconductor workforce and training pipelines; explored gaps between current and future workforce needs; and discussed strategies to expand and diversify the microelectronics workforce.
“Semiconductor manufacturing jobs are good, high-paying careers. The semiconductor industry hires from a wide range of educational backgrounds, with about half of the current workforce holding an associate’s degree or less. Semiconductor employees across all education levels make about 65% more than their peers in other sectors. These are also steady and safe careers with ample room for growth and widely transferable skills. Yet, we’ve heard from industry and educators alike about how students, veterans, and displaced workers just aren’t aware of semiconductor careers and so don’t pursue the training needed to enter this field.”
- Chairwoman Haley Stevens (D-MI) of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology
Freshman Spotlight: Rep. Deborah Ross
This week, Science Committee Member Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC) visited Wake Tech Community College. Wake Tech has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of nearly $1.4 million to enhance undergraduate research opportunities for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students. Wake Tech’s project, “Increasing STEM Persistence by Supporting Apprentice Research Experiences (AREs) as a Model for Institutional Change in Community Colleges” is funded through NSF’s new Advancing Innovation and Impact in Undergraduate STEM Education at Two-Year Institutions of Higher Education program.
“The innovation, the grit, the creativity to apply for a $1.4 million grant to do precisely what the students need and the industries need right now is so inspiring and warms my heart. It’s a great honor and delight to be with you and hear about everything you are doing and know that these fantastic students will have a bright future connecting them to what we need in this community.”
- Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC)
R&D to Advance a Clean Hydrogen Future
On Thursday, the Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing to examine the state of hydrogen research and development in the United States. Witnesses and Members discussed hydrogen research, development, and demonstration activities as they relate to the advancement of clean hydrogen. The role of hydrogen in the decarbonization of energy and industrial sectors, as well as opportunities and challenges for hydrogen deployment and utilization was also discussed.
“We are in a climate emergency, and we do not have time to waste this decade. When hydrogen is made from fossil fuels, I do not believe that we should call it clean. In areas where there are established, safe, widely-available, and cost-effective ways to eliminate carbon emissions, we should not be trying to clear an uncertain path for hydrogen with public funds. We will have to be strategic, and prioritize. And since we already need to deploy much more wind and solar just to power the grid, we should avoid wasting hydrogen in applications like vehicles and appliances that can run on renewable electricity directly — and more efficiently”
- Chairman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) of the Subcommittee on Energy
New Report Projects 30-Year Sea Level Rise
On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in partnership with several federal agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released the 2022 Interagency Sea Level Rise Technical Report. The report provides an update on sea level rise projections across the U.S. and its territories; the last sea level rise report was released in 2017. Among other key findings in the report, the interagency taskforce projects that sea levels will rise an additional 10–12 inches by 2050.
“The impacts of sea level rise are far reaching. Flooding brings devastating consequences for Americans living in coastal regions, those living further inland, and those living far from any coastal region. This intensified flooding, fueled by rising seas, will be detrimental to our building and transportation infrastructure; and it greatly impacts our economy, our food security, and our national security.”
- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
“Today’s report — based on robust scientific evidence from NOAA — tells us that that flooding from tidal and storm surges in the next 30 years will travel further inland and occur 10 times more often than it does today. We must redouble our efforts both to reduce climate warming pollution and to equip our communities with tools and resources to protect their residents from the worst effects of climate change.”
- Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) of the Subcommittee on Environment
ICYMI: International Day of Women and Girls in STEM
Coming up in Committee
There is no committee activity scheduled for next week.